A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.
AT&T Launches AT&T Alerts, a Location-Based Deal Alert Service, As The Field Grows More Crowded (TechCrunch)
AT&T today announced AT&T Alerts, a service to help make shoppers aware of nearby deals via opt-in discounts delivered directly to their phones by SMS based on geo-location data. AT&T is clearly trying to capitalize on the same opportunity being targeted by Groupon, startups like Roximity, and other larger companies like Google, to name just a few.
Foursquare Has 10.4 Million Monthly Users (AdWeek)
Lost in the midst of Nielsen’s layered “Social Media Report 2012″ report earlier this week was the nugget that Foursquare had 10.4 million Android/iPhone users in July, representing about 42 percent of the 25 million people who the New York firm says have downloaded its app. The Nielsen number is likely informative for brands still in the consideration stage about cultivating their Foursquare presence through organic features on the app or via the platform’s nascent ads offering.
Groupon’s Restaurant Tools Get A VP Of Sales (Fast Company)
On Wednesday Groupon announced that two of its products aimed at small businesses now have the same head of sales. Mike DeLuca, the VP of Sales and Operations of a restaurant reservation system called Savored that Groupon acquired in September will now also lead sales at Breadcrumb, a POS system for restaurants that Groupon announced it had acquired in October.
LevelUp Looks for Success as the “Android of Mobile Payments” (GigaOm)
Mobile payment startup LevelUp is trying to be as open as it can be in what its chief said is an Android approach to payments. By offering white labels apps and an API, LevelUp is hoping to gain wide acceptance with consumers and merchants.
Facebook Lets Small Businesses Quickly Contact Its Customer Support Via Chat To Cut Call Center Costs (TechCrunch)
Facebook’s customer-service department has been quietly testing a Salesforce-powered system that lets small businesses contact it over Facebook Chat rather than with a phone call. This gives merchants a quick and convenient way to get answers while they run their businesses, and it keeps call-center costs down for Facebook.
Businesses Are Suing Customers For Writing Bad Yelp Reviews (Business Insider)
While Yelp, Angie’s List and Trip Advisor were once seen as outlets for everyday consumers to talk about their experiences, there are a growing number of defamation suits resulting from bad reviews. The lawsuits could set a troubling precedent whether the courts side with the reviewers or the businesses.